New books among children of small ethnics

Dhaka, Wednesday   08 April 2020


New books among children of small ethnics

 Sahadat Hossain Rakib

 Published: 08:58 PM, 15 February 2020   Updated: 08:59 PM, 15 February 2020

File Photo

File Photo

The government is implementing various initiatives for the development of education. Of these — free books distribution among the children of small ethnic groups in the languages of Chakma, Marma, Tripura, Garo and Sadri minorities. During the current academic year, more than two million books have been distributed.  

It is learned that there are currently 45 small ethnic groups in the country. Many of them have their own language and alphabet. 

“Every citizen has the right to study in their mother tongue,” according to various national and international laws and certifications including hill treaties, child policy. 

In that direction, the present government took the initiative to prepare elementary level textbooks and commencement of study in 5 mother tongues in 2012.

Of these, three committees were formed to implement Multilingual Education (MLE) activities at the national level for the small ethnic groups of Chakma, Marma, Tripura and plane land ethnic community. And since 2017, the government started distributing books for the study on the mother tongue for the children of small ethnic groups of the country. 

The National Curriculum and Textbook Board (NCTB) sources said that free textbooks distribution for the children in the languages ​​of Chakma, Marma, Tripura, Garo and Sadri minorities began since 2017.  

In the first year, books are printed for only pre-elementary students. However, in the second year means since 2018, the textbook was distributed for pre-elementary and first-grade students and second-grade since 2019. This year, the book has been given for the third-grade students.  

During the current academic year, 2,30,103 copies of pre-elementary, first, second, third-grade class books written in five languages for 97,572 children of small ethnic groups.  

There are also Braille books for the visually impaired. In the last academic year, 2,76,784 textbooks were distributed among the 98,144 students.

It is learned that the textbooks of the five small ethnic groups were distributed in Rangamati, Khagrachari and Bandarban districts. In addition, the books are also distributed in different districts including Bahubal in Habiganj, Srimangal in Moulvibazar, Baralekha and Kulaura, Pirganj of Rangpur, Badarganj and Mithapukur, Bakshiganj in Jamalpur, Sreebardi in Sherpur, and Netrokoa’s Durgapur. 

Md. Zakir Hossain, State Minister for Primary and Mass Education, said textbooks have been provided in the mother tongue with their own alphabet for children of small ethnic groups since 2017. 

In the coming days, basic education will be our main goal to build the Sonar Bangla that Bangladesh is dreaming, he said. “We have been working relentlessly to promote that education under the leadership of Sheikh Hasina, daughter of Bangabandhu.”  

The golden men that Bangabandhu dreamt, we can create those gold men. Bangabandhu’s Sonar Bangladesh will be made in their hands, the State Minister further said.  

Apart from the five small ethnic groups, there are several notable ethnic groups including Santal, Khyang, Khumi, Lusai, Munda, Manipuri, Morang, Pangkhua, Hajong, Khasi, who have not yet received the text in their mother tongue. 

In this regard, Dr. AKM Riazul Hasan, a member of NCTB (primary curriculum), said: “We have a plan to make textbooks in the mother tongue for 19 to 20 small ethnic groups. Many can speak these languages, but cannot write. As a result, we cannot find the correct alphabets. I am also seeking assistance from the International Mother Language Institute in this regard.”